Karen Rogers, Founder and Director
Food is a phenomenal social force; a sense of camaraderie and friendship is naturally established through the preparation and sharing of a meal. I see food's magic at work at every single Sprouts class; as kids throw on their aprons and jump into the menu hands-on and head-first, the normal socioeconomic barriers dissolve. It's no surprise that one of my favorite things to do is prepare and share simple, delicious foods with others.
I love fresh fruits and vegetables. Pickled, sautéed, boiled, chopped, raw, cooked, seasoned or plain—there is no form that I don’t enjoy. If I had to pick a favorite cuisine, however, I would say anything with a Moroccan twist. Cinnamon on meat? What a marvelous combination…
I absolutely love traveling—learning, tasting, and feeling my way through new places, different cultures, and foreign countries. It is an exhilarating experience that titillates every sense. There is no better way to stay grounded (and well-rounded) than to challenge your way of thinking by actually living another’s story.
Nicole Szanto, Bay Area Operations Director
Food is an experience, with the ability to pause time and create bonds. It is an art, triggering contemplation and inspiring creativity. Food is a reflection of culture, simultaneously showcasing diversity and bringing us together. I believe that we should constantly challenge the way we think about food by growing on past traditions, respecting the integrity of ingredients and adding creativity, love and just a bit of zaniness. Nothing makes me more excited than seeing people jump out of their comfort zone with food and infuse their personality into a meal or recipe.
Way too many to name! I love the colors of Indian food, the simplicity of Japanese food, the heartiness of Italian cooking, the list goes on and on…but give me a cheese plate and good Bordeaux and I may as well be in heaven.
Adventures of any kind! Whether it is international travel, outdoor extravaganzas or a spontaneous jaunt with friends, there’s nothing I love more than a new adventure.
Celebrate Your Birthday with Nicole! Sprouts Does Birthday Cooking Classes!
Victoria Jing, Director's Assistant
Food Philosophy: I never thought I had a philosophy towards food before. Food was something that was a given—a constant. Friendships were cemented over food and families bonded over it; heartbreak consoled by it and new beginnings welcomed by it. Food is an experience and is one that is shared universally and totally. It’s weird because eating is so fleeting yet the bonds created by food are forever.
Favorite Foods: I go crazy for foods that are composed of contrasting ingredients. Pears on my pizza and fleur de sel in my ice-cream please. Anything with sauerkraut works as well. Alternatively, I have a soft spot for my grandma’s homemade dumplings and figs with cheese.
Other Interests: exploring libraries, people watching, film watching and camping
Kathleen Whalon, Social Media and Communications Intern
I’m a dessert before dinner type of girl. Over the years, I have learned to appreciate my veggies and dinner and cooking has become a huge part of my life. I am a Southern who grew up on collard greens and local shrimp. I love to travel and after spending time in France (and wondering around food markets for hours), I fell in love with food all over again. I learned that food was not just something to nourish our bodies but also, something that we could grow ourselves and have fun with.
I am currently a student at the University of South Carolina studying French and European Studies. I enjoy spending my free time outside, hiking and kayaking. When I’m not in the sunlight, I enjoy looking up recipes on food blogs, going to local music shows, and petting every dog I walk by.